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A typical Labrador puppy, in designer yellow.
 

 

 


Do You Really Want To Own A Dog?
 So you have decided to purchase a dog. But owning a dog can either be the beginning of years of happiness or the beginning of overwhelming responsibility for thich you are not prepared.  Your first task is to ask yourself some serious questions to determine if you are READY to become a dog owner.
  • Do I really want a dog?
  • Can I afford to keep a dog?
  • Do I have time to commit to training, grooming and exercising a dog?
  • Will a dog fit into my lifestyle and my home?
  • Will the dog's quality of life be good enough? Will HE be happy?
The Breed For You

     Is there a breed you have your eye on? Are you confused about how to select a breed? In either case, you should do some research to make sure you select the right breed for you and your family. The American Kennel Club's Complete Dog Book can help you begin your research. Then ask some very important questions on the type of breed:

     1. What was the breed initially bred to do? (e.g., Doberman Pinschers were bred for protection, therefore have aggressive tendencies, or a Labrador Retriever bred to be a companion as well as a diligent worker for his master). Whatever the breed was initially bred to do, you can assure those qualities are inherent in their temperament.
     2. What kind of maintenance does the dog require? A Bearded Collie's lush coat is beautiful, but are you ready to brush it every daay to keep it beautiful as it demands? Are you ready for the hair that a dog sheds in your home, or will you brush him to keep the hair down?
     3. Think about the size of your home and yard. Will the big dog you want fit into your home and have enough room to exercise in your yard? Or would a smaller less active breed better suit your surroundings? Think of the happiness of the dog as well.
     4. Is your yard safe? Do you have a fenced yard that the dog cannot get out of? Can you afford to install a fence? This is crucial to the dog's safety and being a responsible neighbor.
     5. Can you afford a puppy? Buying your puppy from a well-respected breeder can mean the difference between a long-living healthy dog or many expensive trips to the vet's office to fix problems that irresponsible breedings produce. Always ask your breeder about hereditary diseases such as hip dysplasia, blindness and deafness. Responsible breeders want to better the breed and steer clear of such problems. Research what questions you need to ask the breeder.
     6. Purchase price is not the only expense. Puppies need proper care: food, health care (vaccinations, worming, etc.) and when old enough your puppy should be spayed or neutered. Collar, bowl, leash, toys, obedience training. Evaluate your budget to see if you can afford a dog.

Dog Ownership=Responsibility

     Take the time to ask yourself these questions and make an educated decision. This is a 10 to 12 year commitment on average. You and your dog will be happier for it. There is no doubt that a puppy is a cuddly bundle of joy; make sure you keep it that way for the life of the dog.
     Always remember...it is okay to change your mind about which breed you want or if you even want the responsibility of owning a dog BEFORE YOU BUY A DOG.

GOOD LUCK!

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  Web Site created January 1998. Last updated: July 15, 2017
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